jump to navigation

ENnie Awards Nominees for 2018 July 4, 2018

Posted by jkahane in awards, conventions, gaming hut, gencon, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Since GenCon 2018 is just around the bend, so to speak, the ENnie Awards have announced the nominees for this year.

ENnie Award Nominees for 2018

I was very pleased to see that Torg Eternity is up as a nominee in the Best Rules category. It’s up against some tough opposition to be sure, but I really hope that it will win the award. I was sad to see that it wasn’t nominated in a couple of other categories, but such are the ENnies and the voters.

Anyway, best of luck to Torg Eternity in the Best Rules category!

Advertisements

Last Day of June June 30, 2018

Posted by jkahane in gaming hut, grocery shopping, health hut, life, personal.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

It’s the last day of June, 2018.

And in all honesty, I can’t wait for this month to be over.

I’m not going to go into details about everything that’s gone down in June and why I’ll be happy to see the month in the rear view mirror (all you have to do is read some of the blog entries of the past month to see what’s been going on health-wise with me), but it will be good to start looking forward to the month of July. I don’t have a lot of plans for July, to be honest, and it’s not going to start off with any gaming (as both the Friday and Sunday gaming groups will be taking the long weekend off), but to be honest, I’m looking forward to a quiet beginning to the month.

That said, Ottawa and the valley are starting a massive heatwave (which began yesterday), and today is no exception to this. The temperatures for the next week (!!) or so are in the low to mid-range 30+oC range, and with the humidity in the air it’s feeling like the 40s! Ickk! Just plan to keep as cool as I can. ‘Nuff said about that.

In the meantime, I plan to go out and buy a few groceries this afternoon, so just have to remember to make it quick. Otherwise, the perishables will melt in the heat outside. That, and stay hydrated and not take too many chances with my health this week.

Getting Ready for Wednesday Night Gaming June 20, 2018

Posted by jkahane in gaming hut, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , ,
add a comment

It’s the third Wednesday in the month, and that means it’s gaming night!

The Wednesday night gaming group will be starting it’s campaign of Torg Eternity this evening, their campaign taking place in the magical land of Aysle. I’m rather looking forward to this evening’s game, as the players have been jonesing for it since they created their characters on May 31st.

With the gaming group playing once a month, on the third Wednesday, this will be a relatively long scenario, but I’m really looking forward to it.

Time for some supper.

Have a good evening, folks. 🙂

Sunday Afternoon Game Report – Torg Eternity, Session 4 June 18, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, gaming hut, personal, rpg hut, ticket to ride, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

The Sunday afternoon gaming group continued play of their Torg Eternity RPG campaign, set in the Cyberpapacy, yesterday. You can read the blog entry on the previous session by following the link. This post is somewhat long, so I’ve put it behind a cut for those who don’t want to read about my roleplaying game campaigns.

Torg_Eternity_Core_Book-cover.jpg

CHARACTERS:
Jean André Bernard (SteveR) – Unstoppable Cop (Gendarme)
Celeste Dubois (Tammy) – Cyberwitch
Jacques Dumont (GM/NPC) – Realm Runner

April 3rd, 2017

The diesel locomotive departs the Orange train station, the Storm Knights and the prisoners (including their family members) in the prison car, while engineer Fredric Mercier steers them down the track as the train heads for the storm front that borders Paris. The Storm Knights congratulate themselves on their escape, and the saving of their family members, but Jacques Dumont tells them not to be so overconfident – they haven’t escaped quite yet. Jean Andre Bernard pokes his head out of the entrance to the train they used, and spots what appears to be a blue streak of light in the sky, seemingly moving towards them and the car. He is more alarmed to see the cybertrain following after them, several Church Police streetbeaters hanging from the outside of the locomotive and what he thinks might be the troop car. He pops back into the car, and alerts the others to the potential problems outside.

Jacques decides to remain near the prisoners and protect them, while Jean heads for the front of the train car, to make his way through and speak to the engineer. Celeste Dubois comforts her sister, Francine, somewhat, but then prepares to defend the train car. The characters hear the wind rushing around the speeding train, and then an awful crack of a whip that is mixed with lighting sparks, and the area near the car door to the ground is surrounded by a nimbus of blue, crackling energy. A second crack of energy is heard, and once more the train car entry point is filled with the blue, arcing energy. Jacques keeps an eye on the former prisoners, including his wife and son, and then tells the prisoners that he will protect them. Jean continues to make his way towards the front end of the train car. Celeste pokes her head out of the car, and spots what seems to be a glowing blue war angel closing on the car. She fires her Godmeeter at it, but this has no effect, and she thinks it is the range. She decides to wait for it to get closer.

She goes back into the car, just as the creature [called a Host] reaches the train car. There is a rending sound from the front of the car, and what appears to be blue laser or lightsaber light can be seen cutting its way into the roof of the car, the angel of war using its hands to tear into the car. Jacques fires up at the creature with his pistol, but it has no effect as it seems to bounce off the war angel’s crystal-like armour. Celeste decides to try and shoot it with the GodMeeter again, but changes her mind at the last moment. Instead, she casts a spell that is able to reduce the creature’s Dexterity (and all related skills) [she rolled really well, and spent a Hero Card, for a Good success]. The war angel continues its task, and tears open the roof using the hole it made, like a can opener with a can of sardines. As it attempts to strike down into the train car, Jean (nearing the front of the car) is almost struck, but dodges away just in time. Jacques moves back to guard the Ord prisoners, since his gun will have no effect on the war angel. Celeste takes a shot at the creature with her Godmeeter, but the shot strikes wide, hitting the train car roof near the creature.

And at that moment, the train passes into the [Reality] storm front. The reality switches from the Cyberpapacy to that of Core Earth, and unsupported by the Axioms, the war angel disconnects and must flee back into the storm to escape. Returning to the car entrance, Jean sees that the cybertrain has stopped in the storm (perhaps it has disconnected?), leaving the Church Police frantically pounding the air with their fists in frustration. As the diesel train continues on its way, a ghostly, musical voice [that of the Host war angel] is heard by them all:

“We know who you are. We do not forget. As the Church spreads, we shall find you. The storm knows your name.”

A couple of hours later, the diesel train pulls into Paris. A Paris which seems to still retain the reality of Core Earth. [It’s a hardpoint]. Word of the heroes’ actions spread, and the people treat the player characters as heroes for their actions this day.

Sunday afternoon’s game session of the Torg Eternity campaign wrapped up the first adventure for the players, and I thought it went very well. The game session only lasted about 1-1/2 hours, since it was the final scene of the adventure. The players decided not to start a new adventure, since Tammy is going to be on-call for work for the next two weeks. We spent the last couple of hours of the gaming session playing some board games, specifically Ticket to Ride Legendary Asia, and that was fun (I won the second game after coming in a dismal third in the first game). Since I had to eat an early supper prior to going to the hospital for an MRI that night, SteveR and Tammy didn’t stick around for too long. Tammy told me she’d had a lot of fun with the adventure, as there was a lot of action and “I got to shoot things” (her words). SteveR wasn’t all that commital, but did say that he enjoyed himself, so I guess that’s a good thing. 🙂

As mentioned, I won’t be playing with the Sunday afternoon group for around two or three weeks, so I just have to be patient before I can continue the campaign with SteveR and Tammy in the Cyberpapacy. 🙂

It Shall Be Mine Again! June 18, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, gaming hut, personal, photos.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

It shall be mine again!

One of the games that I lost during the fire my dwelling suffered back in the early 1990s was the copy of SPI’s John Carter: Warlord of Mars. The game first came out in 1979, and being the John Carter fan that I was, I snagged the game as soon as I got my hands on it at the local gaming store in Montreal.

I played the game whenever I could, but there weren’t a lot of John Carter/Barsoom fans that I knew of back in those days, so I didn’t get to play the game all that often. Then came the fire, and the loss of the game. I looked for it after the fire over the years in various places, but the costs and the condition of the game discouraged me from buying it again, and I despaired of ever finding the game again at a decent price. So imagine my surprise when I got a notice from Noble Knight Games, saying they had a couple of copies of the game come in.

Anyway, long story short: My credit card is hurting bad right now, but I’ve ordered one of the two copies of the game! Soon, the incomparable Dejah Thoris will be– ah, never mind. Suffice to say, I’m really looking forward to getting the copy of the game again, though I’ve got to hope that the game is really complete (as the NK blurb said it was). Will report back on this when the game is mine again.

Getting Ready for Sunday Afternoon Gaming, and MRI Stuff June 17, 2018

Posted by jkahane in board games, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, tests, ticket to ride, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Had a bit of a rough morning today, but feeling much better now.

I’m getting ready for the afternoon gaming session with the Sunday group. The plan is that they’ll wrap up the first, introductory adventure for Torg Eternity today, which should take between 10 minutes and 2 hours, but rather than starting another adventure (since Tammy is going on call for the next two weeks) we’ll wrap up the afternoon with some board games, probably Ticket To Ride of some sort.

I’ve got my MRI of the left shoulder scheduled for this evening at the Children’s Hospital of Eastern Ontario (CHEO) around 8:15 pm, so the early evening will be spent relaxing and having an early supper (for me, anyway).

Have a good afternoon (and evening), folks. 🙂

CanGames 2018 Final Thoughts May 25, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , , ,
add a comment

After the conclusion of the CanGames convention, I usually write a “Final Thoughts” post about the convention. I wasn’t going to do so this year, for a variety of reasons, but in the end the words seemed to come to me.

Normally, I would spend some time walking around the convention (quite a bit, usually), watching various games or playing a demo here and there of a board game, and chatting with people (friends, acquaintances, and people I’ve never met before), but this year that was impossible for me. The diabetic lesion on my left leg made it difficult to stand, let alone walk, for long periods of time, and the antibiotic I’m taking for it had my stomach and bowels in a fine old state. Add to that the pain in my left shoulder, arm and back, and well… In some ways, I felt completely out of sorts for most of the convention. Needless to say, I only made it up to the top floor of the convention once, and that was when we arrived at the convention on Friday afternoon. When it comes down to it, I just didn’t get to see a lot of the convention this year, once again. 😦

I do, however, want to say that without the assistance and help of SteveR, I don’t think I could have done half of what I did manage to do at the convention this year, and am not sure that I would have gone to the convention at all. Between the various things going on with me health-wise, I could not have managed at the convention without his help. So I’m just grateful that SteveR was willing and able to give me a hand with everything he did for me at the convention. Thanks, mate. 🙂

I also want to thank the CanGames 2018 convention committee and staff for all their hard work and dedication in bringing us this installment of Ottawa’s gaming convention. These folks work hard every year to make sure that the convention runs as smoothly as possible, and while there may have been a few glitches here and there (there always are at conventions, it’s inevitable), this year’s convention seemed to go pretty smoothly. (From what I saw of it.)

This year, I went to the convention despite how I was feeling to run the four games that I was committed to running. Once I commit to running games at a convention such as CanGames, I do my best to honour said commitment. People have paid upfront in some cases to play in the games that I’m supposed to run, but what it comes down to for me is the commitment business. I will say that I had a lovely time of it running the four games that I did at CanGames. Friday night’s “Day 1: The Living Land” for the Torg Eternity game went very well. The players had an excellent time of it, and loved the game system and mechanics, especially the Drama, Destiny, and Cosm cards. (That was pretty much a theme at both Torg Eternity games this year.) I was really pleased with it. Saturday afternoon’s John Carter of Mars – The Roleplaying Game session, “The Diplomats of Mars”, went exceedingly well, and I had a good mix of players both knowledgeable and not-so-much for the game that lent it a wonderful feel. Folks discovering Barsoom is so neat! The players really liked the game system and mechanics, for the most part, and loved the feel of the game. Saturday night’s Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked scenario, “The Tears of Ampharool”, was a lot of fun to run, if not one of the more challenging games I’ve run in some time (but I also chalk that up to being somewhat tired by the time 7:00 pm rolled around). The players felt the game had some great fantasy elements, and captured the feel of the Arabian Nights stories so well. It was a lovely time, indeed. Finally, Sunday afternoon’s Torg Eternity scenario, “The Burden of Glory”, was the one that put the most pressure on me to get it right, given the importance of that adventure to the Infiniverse, but it was a lot of fun to run and had some challenges as well. The players all had an excellent time; I guess the fact that several players planned to pick the game up is an indication of how good the game was! 🙂 I don’t know what I’ll be running at CanGames 2019 yet, though I do have some initial thoughts on that. We’ll see what we shall see. After all, it’s still another year or thereabouts until the next incarnation of CanGames.

Other than the usual food gripe that I have about CanGames 2018 and the Rideau Curling Club‘s offerings for food, which I’m not going to write about here – though I will say that the naan pizza that was on their menu, which SteveR and I ate on Saturday night, was…disgusting – I didn’t really notice anything too problematic about the convention this year. (State of health and business with games likely had something to do with that.)

I did notice that the attendance seemed to be down, and I also noticed that the folks who normally do the Pathfinder Society stuff were not at the convention, so that may have something to do with it. I was very surprised at how many people pre-registered for the four games that I ran, but perhaps that had to do with the fact the Pathfinder folks weren’t there so people were looking for games to play in. I had a pretty good weekend at CanGames 2018 this year, mainly because of the joy I got running the four game sessions that I did. I did see a few friends and acquaintances at CanGames, and hope I made a few new friends (and people who will continue to game in the stuff that I run at the convention). I didn’t talk to as many people as I would have liked, and didn’t have any long chats with folks, other than during the four games that I ran.

That said, I’m already looking forward to CanGames 2019! 🙂 And I hope that some of the folks reading this journal are already planning for the convention, and I’ll see you there in about a year! 🙂

And that’s it. The final post about this year’s CanGames gaming convention in Ottawa. Hope everyone enjoyed these four journal entries about the convention, and please remember that comments are welcome. 🙂

Friday Night Gaming May 25, 2018

Posted by jkahane in gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , ,
add a comment

There is a chance this evening that I will be gaming with the Friday night group of players.

This will depend on whether they want to take a chance of contracting (or not contracting) the con crud that I’ve been hit with. I feel a bit better today, but am somewhat weak.

Will know a bit later today.

CanGames 2018 Day 3 Report May 24, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, personal, rpg hut, torg eternity rpg.
Tags: , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here’s the post about the third and final day of CanGames, 2018. You can read the post on CanGames 2018 Day 2 by following the link. This convention day report is somewhat long, and has several photos. Enjoy! 🙂

May 20th, 2018

After a long night in bed, I finally fell asleep around 3:00 am, and woke up several times thereafter, finally sleeping for about three hours after 6:00 am. My shoulder was hurting quite badly and my left leg ached something fierce. Got out of bed after 9:00 am and took care of the morning ablutions. Had a decent breakfast of an omelette with mushrooms, onions, and cheese, and then went downstairs to do a bit of the packing for the day’s game, Torg Eternity. This game promised to be a real challenge, as I was running the scenario from GenCon that was also an Infiniverse adventure that would affect the game world with its outcome. No pressure, right? 🙂 I repacked the personal tote bag, since I wasn’t going to need to take the insulin with me, as I hoped to be home before the shot this evening, and then went upstairs and got some of the food snacks for the afternoon prepped and ready. I then headed into the shower, and the hot water and steam seemed to help me somewhat.

SteveR arrived around 11:45 am, and after sorting out the food in the cooler from yesterday and adding a couple of fresh snack items, he helped me finish packing what I needed for the Torg Eternity game. He had a vested interest in it, since he was going to play in it today! I made sure I had my stubs for the CanGames booth stuff that I (hoped) was selling. SteveR and I packed the car up, and headed downtown to the convention venue. We didn’t stop for lunch today, as we planned to have some “proper” pizza for lunch at the convention. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club around 12:15 pm, and the Goddess favoured us once again as we were able to find a parking space directly across from the convention venue.

Once inside the Rideau Curling Club, SteveR dropped his stuff and some of mine down in the lockers, and then headed over to the pizzeria that Jean-Yves had recommended the night before, while I settled down for a sit and a bit of a wait. I went to see if I could cash in from the stuff I’d sold at the CanGames booth, and was told I’d have to go to the booth itself in the Marketplace to handle this and speak with Jeff Black. It took me several tries to find him there, as he was wandering the Marketplace, and I was in for a shock. It turned out that I’d only sold one item of all the items I’d brought in, the copy of Hillfolk and its two supplements as well as the cards and crystal tokens that went along with it. To say I was a bit pissed off is an understatement, but I took it with good grace. I donated all the items that were left to CanGames, except the Flashing Blades materials that I reclaimed. Headed out of the curling sheet area, and got a text message from SteveR saying that the place we’d been favouring didn’t open until 4:00 pm, so he was going to get us the food at Pizza Pizza instead. This was already close to 1:15 pm, and I started to panic about the game and whether I’d have time to eat and set things up at the table. SteveR returned about 1:20 pm with the food, a couple of mushroom, green pepper and pepperoni small pizzas, and we sat down to eat at the table next to mine. I finished eating and polished off a bottle of water and a yogurt, and then started setting up the game table in earnest.

When I checked the sign-up sheet for the game, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Charlotte (the girl from Friday night’s game of Torg Eternity) had signed up to play in this one as well. I had a full table of six for this important game of the system. I finished setting up the table with the various cards and chips, and took out the player characters for the players. By this time, everyone had arrived for the game, so we got started. I first told them about the change in scenario, that it was one that could have a profound influence on the Infiniverse, and that there were some conditions imposed by the company, including photos of the players at play and their full names for inclusion as playtesters in the book(let). The players all agreed to this, and so we moved on. The adventure that I ran on Sunday afternoon is called “The Burden of Glory” and concerns a group of Storm Knights who are sent to destroy a stela but find themselves wrestling with the question of what might be more important than destroying one. Instead of four or five pre-generated characters, I handed out to the players the group of 16 characters, two from each Cosm that came with the GM Screen, and told them to pick the characters that they wanted. While they did that, I went and retrieved the sign-up sheet and took roll call. The six players at the table included Bruce, Daniel, Paul-Andre (who has played in quite a few of my games the last couple of years), Roddy Turner, SteveR, and Charlotte. Once they had gone through the characters, Bruce chose to play the Cyberwitch (Cyberpapacy), Daniel chose the Monster Hunter (Orrorsh), Paul-Andre played the Masked Crusader (Nile Empire), Roddy snatched up the Relic Raider (Orrorsh), SteveR took the Resistance Fighter with psionics (Tharkold) and Charlotte played the Edeinos Optant (Living Land). It was an interesting and colourful mix of player characters, and promised a good afternoon’s worth of play.

I started off the game session by explaining the rules to the players, including the Drama Deck, Destiny Deck, and Cosm Deck mechanics and how the cards were played, as well as the use of Possibilities. SteveR and Charlotte were the only players with Torg Eternity game experience, but the others picked up the gist of things very quickly, though the use of the Bonus Chart in determining task success took them about 20 minutes of actual play to begin with to get used to. The players had a really good afternoon of gaming with the scenario, and the cards and possibilities flowed like wine all afternoon. Daniel did a good job playing the Monster Hunter (I know the players gave their characters names, but I don’t seem to have written them down and can’t remember them for the life of me), and loved his character’s unique abilities. Paul-Andre played up the Nile Empire elements of his character, the Masked Crusader, and Charlotte got into her role as the Edeinos Optant, and rather enjoyed the miracles that her character possessed, making good use of them several times. SteveR did a good job with the Tharkoldu Resistance Fighter, and he used his psionics to great effect twice, the first time helping to move a felled tree so as to act as a bridge over a raging river and the second time to save the life of the Edeinos Optant when she chose a reckless, but perfectly in character, means of crossing the same river. Bruce played the Cyberwitch very well, but didn’t really have a chance to use his magic, though the cyberweapons of the character proved useful. Roddy did his good job as usual with the Relic Raider, and really shone in the second half of the adventure.

The players handled the game situations that came up in this scenario, and did a good job finding solutions to the various circumstances that came up. The business with crossing the raging river (which was mentioned earlier) is a good example of this, as was the bit where they rescued a trapped edeinos from a tar pit. The revelations for the Infiniverse that occurred during the adventure had SteveR gasping with surprise, and the others came to appreciate what happened by the end of the adventure.

When we wrapped up the adventure, the players told me that they had a great time with the game system, and three of them said they were going to buy Torg Eternity so as to have it for themselves and run a game or three of it. They all liked the mechanics, especially the three decks of cards, loving the Cosm cards for their giving a great feel to the experience of being in the relevant Cosm’s World Laws and Axioms. (Btw, only one character, the Cyberwitch, disconnected during the game, when she was using her GodMeeter in the Living Land, but she was able to re-connect relatively quickly.) After the game ended, I chatted with several of the players while starting to pack the gaming stuff up with the able assistance of SteveR. We talked about various aspects of the game system and mechanics, and a bit more about several of the Cosms that intrigued the players.

After the gamers left, SteveR took the gaming materials out to the car while I sat back with some cheese, a bottle of yogurt and some bottled water. Then I filled in the sign-up sheet with the top three player rankings, and took that to the Game Registration desk. SteveR returned and we sat around and waited for the CanGames closing ceremony to begin and end, and while I didn’t doze off or anything like that, I was seriously annoyed because of the loud conversation going on at the next table, and couldn’t hear most of what was said. It was relativly short, no more than twenty (20) minutes long. SteveR and I were pretty tired and hungry, so it was time to bid CanGames 2018 adieu.

By this time it was well after 7:20 pm and SteveR and I were pretty hungry, so decided it was time to bid the convention adieu for this year. I walked around for about 10 minutes saying goodbye to certain people that I knew, but it was a done deal for the year. Steve and I headed over to my favourite Chinese restaurant for supper, Brother Wu. We took the rather long route for various reasons (notably that I had to wait 2 hours to take the antibiotic after the yogurt) and got there a bit later than I expected to. The meal at Brother Wu‘s was excellent, as we had some Mustard Greens with Pork soup, Hunan Dumplings, Moo-She Chicken with Pancakes, and Sizzling Beef with a small bowl of rice between us. A truly nice meal, washed down throughout with Chinese tea. We talked very little over the food, since I was feeling peckish, though he did tell me how the Star Trek Adventures scenario had gone.

From the restaurant, SteveR drove me back to my place. Once there, he helped me unload the car with the gaming stuff, and then he headed for home. It was around 10:00 pm or so, I think, and I sat back, relaxed, and had some yogurt and a cup of peppermint tea, which helped so much. I was feeling pretty tired, achy all over and thought I was developing a sore throat (though I attributed that to the speaking so much during the day). Turns out, I was just starting out with con crud. 😦 I stayed up until I had to take my insulin injection for the night, and just had a cup of hot chocolate before crawling into bed and reading for about half an hour. Then, blessed sleep.

And there you have it – my three-post report on CanGames 2018, and the rpgs I ran at the convention. Overall, I had a really good convention, and had a blast running the games I did at the convention. I was only hampered by my left shoulder and arm all weekend and by the diabetic lesion on my leg. More exhausting for me than usual, though. (I may write an impressions of the con post as well, but we’ll see, since I didn’t really see all that much of the convention.)

Hope folks enjoyed these reports on the convention. 🙂 Comments, thoughts, and questions are welcome. 🙂

CanGames 2018 Day 2 Report May 23, 2018

Posted by jkahane in cangames, capharnaum rpg, conventions, gaming hut, health hut, john carter of mars rpg, personal, rpg hut.
Tags: , , , , , , , ,
add a comment

Here’s my report and write-up on the second day of CanGames 2018. You can read the report on CanGames 2018 Day 1 by following the link. This report on the second day of CanGames 2018 is quite long since I ran two games on this day, but there are pretty much no photos of the games or the Saturday at the convention.

May 19th, 2018

I woke up on Saturday morning around 5:00 am feeling…sick to my stomach. I didn’t eat enough food on Friday night and the lack of a balanced diet probably didn’t help, but I suspect it was due more to the massive dose of antibiotics I’m taking. When I got out of bed again around 9:00 am, I was also a bit shaky and still quite tired. Not enough sleep. My voice sounded good when I tested it out. I was pretty nervous about the day, since I was going to be running two games at CanGames this day. After breakfast, I felt somewhat better, the hot food and coffee making me have nasal drip.

I went back downstairs, and continued packing the rest of the gaming stuff up for the day, as well as started on the personal bag. I finished most of the packing, and then took my morning shower. The heat of the water was good on my aching muscles, legs, and back after the standing running the Torg Eternity game on Friday night so I luxuriated in the water. I was nervous about the two games today, but my spirits were raised somewhat. After dressing, I started in on some of the snack food, cutting up some cheese cubes and made two more cucumber sandwiches. I added a couple of extra teabags to my tote bag for personal belongings.

SteveR arrived at my place around 11:45 am, and I was feeling rather good at that point and starting to look forward to the afternoon and evening games I was running. We packed the car with the gaming stuff and took the food in the decent size cooler that he had recently bought, and then headed out. About half-way up Conroy road, I realized I didn’t have my mobile phone, so SteveR turned the car around and we went to collect it. (*sigh* Last year it was the diabetes meds, this year it was the phone.) Once at Tim Horton’s, I picked up a turkey bacon ranch wrap again with a bottle of water, and then it was off to the convention. We arrived at the Rideau Curling Club somewhat later than planned, close to 12:45 pm. I know I was surprised when SteveR was able to find a parking space right across the street from the Rideau Curling Club entrance! The Goddess was obviously smiling on us that afternoon. 🙂

I headed into the Rideau Curling Club, taking one of the game bags (which were lighter for various reasons) and my personal tote bag, while SteveR unloaded the rest of the stuff from the car (since he was running Star Trek Adventures that afternoon. He’d remembered his lock this day, so we went and put everything in the lockers downstairs. I went and grabbed a bottle of water, and then headed over to the Game Registration desk to check on the two games I was running this day. I still couldn’t believe my eyes when I saw that both the John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game and the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked games were both full! I learned at the Service Desk that my friend Tim had picked up his Registration kit, so was at the convention. I sat down for a couple of minutes, and then wandered out onto the curling sheet for a bit. Saw something that intrigued me, and I watched a demo of a game called Drop It for a few minutes, and snapped a couple of photos.

Headed back to the main area near Registration, as it was getting close to the time for set-up of the afternoon game of John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game and saw that SteveR had brought up the bags that we both needed for the afternoon. Tim had just come around the corner and saw me. He came over and picked up the Atlantis: The Second Age book and supplements that I had for him, and money exchanged hands. We chatted for only a few minutes, and then he and his crew were off to do other things while I got ready for John Carter. It was going to be an interesting game afternoon because the game was scheduled out on the curling sheet, right near the windows that look out there from the main Registration area, near the far wall opposite that of the Marketplace vendors. SteveR hauled the two bags of gaming stuff for me out to the table, and then headed for the upper level of the Curling Club to run his own game for the afternoon.

I worked on finishing the set-up for the game, and then at 1:30 pm I went to check on the sign-in sheet. I saw that the same fellow who hadn’t showed up for the Torg Eternity game on Friday night hadn’t checked in for the game. I gambled, and recruited a new player, Keith, for the game. This worked like a charm, as the pre-registered player didn’t show up so Keith was able to get into the game. One surprise I did have at the table was how nice and quiet it was for the Saturday afternoon. I headed back to the table and saw that all the other players were there. Talked to the players there for a few minutes and then collected the sign-up sheet and went back to start the game.

The John Carter of Mars – The Role-playing Game adventure that I ran on Saturday afternoon was the QuickStart adventure for the game, but I called it “The Diplomats of Mars” for a variety of reasons that became apparent during the adventure itself. The adventure revolves around five of the central characters of the Barsoom books on a diplomatic mission when they find some ruins of interest and are set up for an ambush by the Zodangans. I’m not going into any details here about the world of Barsoom or the character backgrounds, instead referring the interested reader to the JCoM webpage. The player characters for the adventure were John Carter, the incomparable Dejah Thoris, Tars Tarkas, Kantos Kan, and Sola. Jean-Yves decided to play Sola, John D took the role of John Carter, Keith settled on playing Kantos Kan, Paul played Dejah Thoris and SteveG took the role of Tars Tarkas. I was a bit disappointed there were no female players in this group of players, but such was life. John D was the only player in the group who had read the books, though most of the others had some familiarity with the Barsoom material through the movie.

I thought the players had a really good time of it (or else they sure fooled me!) with the adventure, though I was surprised at the lack of knowledge of the John Carter material (other than the movie and the one player). Other than the one player, the rest of the players really had little grasp of how to play the characters at all. To that end, I gave them some basic background knowledge about Barsoom and the characters’ personalities and relationships. This was augmented by John D with his adding in additional stuff as it was needed (though I corrected him a couple of times). John D and the others did a pretty good job of portraying the characters, to be honest. The players took a bit of time getting used to the 2d20 Momentum game system, the lack of skills and the narrative style of play, but by the second hour of the game, they were having a blast and getting into the style/feel and mood of things Barsoomian. Highlights of the game for me included Carter’s player making prodigious leaps and plunging a sword into the eye of Giant White Ape!, the passionate relationship between John Carter and Dejah Thoris (despite being played by two males) that had Kantos Kan and Tars Tarkas more than grumbling about the Barsoom “lovebirds”. Funny stuff. And there was John Carter’s player convincing the other PCs and their Zodangan enemies to rally and take out the two White Apes. He made a rousing speech. He didn’t convince the Kantos Kan player, but Keith said that he had to go with them since he’d never forgive himself if Carter or the Princess died and he wasn’t there! My other favourite bit was the Tars Tarkas player always calling John Carter “Virginia” like he did in the first book. Fun stuff.

I ended the game session on a cliffhanger (and I’m not going to mention what it was here!), and then wrapped up the scenario in a neat and tidy fashion per sé. I had a really fun time with the game, and was pretty tired when it was over, though my voice was pretty good still. It’s a taxing system to run in some ways, especially off a QuickStart document, and took me about 1/2 an hour to get the “hang” of once again. I spoke to several of the players afterwards, and Keith told me that while he liked the game overall, he wasn’t fond of the Luck, Momentum and Threat aspects since he found it too much to keep track of. A couple of the other players disagreed with him, but they told me they all had had a good time and actually quite liked the game system’s simplicity and how well it suited the Barsoomian atmosphere. By the time I wrapped up, SteveR had come by and watched some of the game, afterwards helping me pack up the game material and then he deposited that stuff down in my locker and brought up the bag with the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked materials for me to check over. His own game of Star Trek Adventures, a scenario called “Adrift,” had ended pretty early in the time slot.

SteveR went to the bar, where they’d set up the small area near the back for the ordering of food from the cafeteria. He bought two naan pizza with mushrooms, green pepper and pepperoni, along with a side salad for us to share. I wasn’t too happy with the pizza when SteveR brought dinner down for us. There were a couple of slices of processed Kraft cheddar cheese covering the pizza toppings, which were all right, that reminded me of eating plastic. The side salad was pretty decent though, but I worried about how that food was going to affect my stomach and bowels, given how irritated they were already. We ate supper at the game table where I was going to run the evening game, and were joined by a couple of the players for the game as well. I finished eating supper, and then set up the table to run Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked.

At 6:30 pm or so I went to check out the sign-up sheet for the Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked game session and discovered that one player had crossed their name off the list, so I didn’t have a full complement of players. I wasn’t able to convince anyone else to fill the slot for the game, so headed back to the table where the other four players were waiting, and got on with the game. Where to start? Well, Capharnaum – The Tales of the Dragon-Marked is a fantasy roleplaying game set in an Arabia-like land. It borrows very much from the One Thousand and One Nights of course, but also draws on Semitic myths and legends and other mediaeval epics. I was running the QuickStart scenario, “The Tears of Ampharool”, in which a caravan trip across the Desert of Fire turns into something completely different after encountering ghostly spirit warriors during a sandstorm. The player characters for the scenario are Assabi the Trader, a merchant with magical abilities; Eloim the Physician, a medical man of the Arabic world who isn’t what he appears to be; Carmen de la Mancha, an adventurer of Spanish-like origins, who is extremely loyal to her friends and allies; Princess Karima, a lady of thiefly means who is travelling to Carrassine to marry a man she barely knows; and Wafik the Protector, a mercenary hired by Karima’s husband-to-be to bring her to Carrassine for the wedding. An interesting set of characters. With just four players, including a ten-year old girl, Nevaeh, and her two years older sister, Emily, it promised to be an interesting game for sure. The players included Emily, Neveah, Liam, and my friend, Roddy Turner, and they made for an interesting mix. Emily took on the role of Carmen, her sister, Neveah, decided to play Karima, Liam played Wafik, and Roddy played Assabi.

The players had a terrific time of it during the game, and another friend of mine, Greg, came in at the start of the 3rd hour (after the 5 minute break) to play Eloim. He’s the father of Emily and Neveah, and knows the parents of Liam as well. I’m not going into detail about the plot here (because others might run the adventure down the line, and I’d like to run the scenario again sometime!), but will say that the adventure played out really well, and the players seemed to have a fun time of it. I had a really good time running the game, even though I was worried about the complexity of it when it came to Emily, Neveah, and Liam, but I was concerned for nothing. They grasped the rules of the game very easily and did a good job getting into the mood of the Arabian Nights. Roddy did a good job as Assabi, taking command of the group by virtue of his being the caravan master, and Liam and Neveah did a nice job playing Wafik and Karima, respectively. Due to their age, the three younger players at the table got easily distracted, but Roddy and I did our very best to keep them focused; part of what helped with that was the Arabian Nights faerie tale that I was spinning for them, but still, distraction was always there for them. After Greg joined the game, Emily, Neveah and Liam were much more well-behaved and more focused as well, so that helped. The group got into the spirit of the game early, as I described things in an Arabian Nights fashion, and were eager to defend the caravan during the initial attack. When the ruined palace appeared, almost as a mirage, the characters decided to go due to the spirit of adventure (and the fact that their Dragon Marks compelled them to do so!). I loved the fact that Liam’s Wafik defended Neveah’s Karina every time danger threatened, and Roddy’s Assabi took command when he had to. Emily kept chafing at the bit to use her whip skills, and when she did it was highly impressive. The players learned the meaning of the scenario title when we finished the game, and they got… well, never mind what they got. [evil g]

Once the game ended, I chatted with the players for a bit as they plied me with questions about the game world and the game system and mechanics. It was an enjoyable ten minutes, and Roddy told me that he loved the game and how it played and that it was the best “Arabian Nights”-feel game he’s ever played. I started packing while talking to Roddy, who stuck around for a bit, and then SteveR showed up to help me finish. I took my blood glucose, then took my insulin shot, and had half a cucumber and cream cheese sandwich and a yogurt. SteveR took all the game bags, including the stuff from the locker to the car while I finished up inside and submitted the sign-up sheet with the rankings I’d given the players.

I chatted with SteveR on the drive back to my place, and it was around 12:00 midnight when I got in. After SteveR helped me bring the gaming stuff and sundries into the house, he headed for home, and I had another yogurt with a cup of hot chocolate before I went downstairs. I emptied out the game bags from the day, and started to put the Torg Eternity materials for Sunday’s game in, but was too tired to finish that. I washed myself a bit before bed, and then crawled in…but I was feeling too “stuff in my head” to sleep, plus my shoulder was hurting something fierce, and didn’t get to sleep until sometime after 3:00 am.

And that’s the wrap-up of Saturday at CanGames 2018. As you can see this entry was a long one, and had a only a couple of photos for the enjoyment of those reading the blog entry. Hope folks enjoyed this journal entry, and if so, please comment with any thoughts you might have on the entry. All I know is I’m just tired from typing this up! 🙂